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BSF DG on peace recce in Tripura

Agartala, June 9: The director-general of the BSF, D.K. Pathak, paid a two-hour visit to Agartala yesterday after the death of BSF jawan Sandip Singh and a civilian Ismail Mia in the South Ramnagar area west of Agartala town on Friday night.

Pathak did not visit the bordering South Ramnagar area, but held a meeting with inspector-general, Tripura frontier, B.N. Sharma, and other senior BSF officials at Shalbagan, headquarters of the BSF in Tripura.

Sources in the BSF said Pathak arrived at 2pm and returned at 4pm after the meeting.

“The DG made a general review of the situation in Tripura after Friday night’s incident at South Ramnagar village and infiltration by over 400 Chakma people into Tripura from the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. He issued instructions to officials here on how best to cope with such eventualities,” a source said.

The Chakmas from Chittangong Hill Tracts have already returned. The tension in the South Ramnagar area over the death of civilian Ismail Mia, 70, and BSF jawan Sandip Kumar on Friday night has faded though the police and paramilitary Tripura State Rifles jawans are patrolling the area to cope with any eventuality.

Police said while Ismail Mia was buried last Saturday, Singh’s body was flown to his home state in Punjab yesterday.

Sources, however, refused to say anything on how Singh died in the absence of a post-mortem report.

“We are expecting to receive the post-mortem report within the next two days and then we can make a comment on how the BSF jawan had died,” a source said. Sources, however, added that a bullet mark had been noticed on Singh’s head.

Shortly after the violence at South Ramnagar resulting in the death of Singh and Mia, the residents of the area — where almost all are engaged in border smuggling — had concocted a story that Singh had committed suicide.

This was supported by the local CPM leadership allegedly to retain their grip on the border population.

“These are wild stories being circulated by all kinds of people, but we in the police cannot say anything without having the post-mortem report in our hands,” said IG (operations) N.C. Das.

He, too, refused to comment on the suspicion that the violence could have been the fallout of dispute over smuggling and money.